I recorded the 2009 Minnesota Howls the night before the 2009 MN BFRO expedition in northern Minnesota. A couple of these howls were featured on the Minnesota episode of Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot. In this post, you can hear and download the complete set of howls for yourself.
Around 11:00 pm the night before the official expedition would start, myself and eight others decided to take a dark walk from base camp to the camp of a fellow researcher about a mile away. He had radioed to us that he could hear wolves howling to our east. I had recently bought my Edirol HR-09 recorder and wanted to try it out on the wolves.
We walked about a 100 yards down the road toward the wolves when we heard them howl. I stopped the group so my recorder to pick up the howls without the human noise. By the time they were quiet, the wolves had stopped. Suddenly from the northeast came a louder, violent sounding vocalization. It was guttural in nature and sounded very angry. After that the wolves howled again a few times from the East ahead of us and were answered by the other voice to the northeast again. After everything was quiet again, we continued on, now hurrying as quickly and quietly as we could to get closer to the wolves and the unknown caller.
When we got to the point where the trail turned to the northeast and the unknown caller, the wolves began howling again. Afterward, we turned the corner and continued on toward the location where we last heard the unknown caller. Over the next 20 minutes, it and the wolves would occasionally call back and forth with us stopping each time to record. As we got closer to the unknown caller’s position, I began to not only hear its calls, but also feel them vibrating in my chest. It was very unnerving at that point as we were very far from camp, were not using lights, and were still walking towards the caller. I think some of the new people who had gone with Kris and I that night thought we were nuts.
After about 20 minutes of this, a higher pitched chorus sounded from the wolves direction which we thought to be the wolf pups the landowners had seen earlier that year. After that we neither heard nor saw anything more as we walked out to the peninsula and back.
I do need to note that these files are not the original recordings as pulled off of my recorder. After the trip, I went home and pulled the audio files down. I opened them in Audacity and edited them down to just the best parts. I also amplified them where possible. These edited files I then sent to some friends for review, which was a very good thing for my hard drive crashed soon after, destroying all my files and the originals. I didn’t have any backups, but was able to rescue these files from the sent folder of my e-mail. Now I make back-ups immediately; a lesson I learned the hard way.
Copyright notice: These recordings and all derivatives are copyright of Andrew Pieper, 2009. I give you permission to use and distribute these recordings for personal, non-commercial use. If you post any of these recordings on the internet or share them in any way, please provide a link back to this web page. If you want these recordings for commercial use, please contact the SRA for more details.
Within Audacity, I broke the recording into smaller sections and used the Amplify tool where possible to enhance the volume of the fainter sounds. In doing this, I cleaned out some of the loud ticks and clicks that one can hear near the recorder, allowing for better amplification of distant sounds. These amplified files are posted below for you to listen to along with my analysis of each.
Unknown Caller and Wolves
0:00: Multi-toned, unknown vocalization
0:05: Wolf howl
0:17 to 0:27: Faint wolf/coyote vocals
0:27 to 0:30: Powerful, hoarse-sounding vocalization
0:33 to 0:36: Nice wolf howl
Back in 2009, Monongahela analyzed this particular clip in detail. He has graciously re-posted it on Sasquatch Bioacoustics at the following link:
This clip contains a series of wolf howls and vocalizations. They are fainter that the unknown caller, so I was able to amplify this clip more than the other clips.
Unknown Caller and Wolves 2
I could not amplify this clip as much as the others because the unknown howler was so loud compared to the other sounds.
0:02 to 0:07: Wolf howl
0:20 to 0:23: Very powerful, multi-toned vocalization from the unknown caller. This is the first call I felt as well as heard.
0:36 to 0:55: Somewhat guttural wolf vocalizations. If I remember right, these came from the direction of the wolves. These give a good comparison to the much louder calls of the unknown caller.
0:55 to 0:57: Strange call. I think it is a wolf, but it is abnormal.
1:06 to 1:10: Another powerful, multi-toned vocalization
0:00 to 0:02: Powerful, multi-toned vocalization. The distortion is caused by the sounds of me moving. I was walking when this call happened and stopped as quickly as I could.
0:06 to 0:08: Powerful call coming from the unknown caller, but is is a bit more wolf-like than the others. When the Finding Bigfoot episode launched, I was chagrined that they used this call as the main one discussed on the show as, in my opinion, it is the least indicative of what we heard that night. I really don’t know why the editors chose this call to focus on; maybe they wanted to heighten the sense of doubt in the group at the beginning of the show or something like that.
Unknown Caller and Wolf
0:00.5 to 0:02: Powerful, multi-tone vocalization from the unknown caller
0.06 to 0.09: Long wolf howl
Multiple Wolves and an Owl
This clip contains multiple wolf howls, a barred owl, and a chorus at the end that we think was the wolf pups.
I personally believe that the unknown caller on these clips is a sasquatch. We had other sightings and encounters throughout that expedition. The interchange between the unknown caller and the wolves was fascinating. This stands as one of the most intense experiences I have had in the woods.
If you were one of the other people who heard these calls in person that night, please chime in with your recollections of that night and these vocalizations in the forum.